SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Open Memo: To City Manager & City Council;
Response to Ketchikan Medical Center Addition

By Randy Romenesko


April 10, 2015
Friday PM

This memo was prepared to provide our thoughts about project issues raised in a recent letter to the editor in the Ketchikan Daily News and SitNews. I have spoken with members of the design team (NAC Architecture), construction team (Layton/Dawson Constructors), and the project management team (DOWL) in the development of this response. I can assure you all members of the project team are working diligently to provide the City and PeaceHealth with a quality facility that meets construction specifications, design intent, and industry standards for the construction of the healthcare facility.

We are aware of the issues raised by Mr. Young. As a team we continually review work items, implement corrections as needed and document the project thoroughly. All requirements for all warranties and compliance with approved construction documents are being followed. Items outside of compliance are being worked on to bring them into compliance before acceptance. This is an ongoing process we all monitor and act on every day.

Addressing issues raised in the letter, please note the following:

  • The project is tracking toward the current contractual completion date of May 31, 2016
  • The design has been completed utilizing design packages in stages for construction. This is a common model for large healthcare projects. The work has proceeded using completed Construction Documents for each state of work. This is a GC/CM project so it is not unusual to work with the contractor to find alternative products or approaches to achieve value savings. When it is agreed that a change will benefit the project a drawing change is necessary to incorporate the benefit. No documents are perfect; there have been clarifications of documents, which is part of a normal construction project.
  • All materials incorporated into the project have been reviewed and approved in accordance with project specifications by a formal submittal process. Any material delivered to the site without approval is purely at contractor risk. If an unapproved material is installed it must be removed and corrected at contractor cost.
  • There are many local subcontractors and workers, Ketchikan residents, involved in this project. There are many workers from other parts of the State on-site. Each subcontractor is responsible for manning their scope of work in a timely and efficient manner. There is no importing of worker by LDC to pressure other trades.
  • This is a sophisticated hospital project with a progressive MEP and envelope design incorporating state of the art technology to comply with current energy codes. All Construction is consistent with the code and the best in engineering technology.
  • All of the sheathing, shaft liner and wallboard currently being installed is designed for this application. The sheathing and shaft liner are mold proof products that do not absorb water and contain no paper or other products that can feed mold. The installations are in accordance with manufactures recommendations and thoroughly inspected. The nature of assembling shaft walls require the installation of shaft liner as the wall if framed which is in sequence for roughing in services. The mold resistant wallboard is also designed for the application as it does not absorb water and is only being installed at certain tops of walls that are protected from rain.
  • DensGlass sheathing, the 'yellow siding', is per the manufacturer, "a 'paperless' sheathing panel made of a treated, water resistant core, surfaced with glass mat facings and primer coating. Providing superb protection from the elements... even during construction delays that last as long as six months after installation. DensGlass Gold panels are also mold-resistant."
  • The Self-adhered Water Resistant Barrier, aka Frog Skin, 'orange membrane' is per the manufacturer, "A vapor permeable membrane and an air barrier - it allow damp sheathing to dry quickly and moisture vapor to escape, ensuring good indoor air quality while reducing incident of mold, mildew ,and metal corrosion. Application over 40F does not require primer; sustainable up to 120 days of UV and climate exposure; compatible with DensGlass."
  • The level of humidity is not a limitation for the sprayed fireproofing installation and it is being applied in accordance with specifications and manufactures recommendations. Adhesion / Bonding tests are passing thus far; if material has washed off in areas due to rain, these will be repaired prior to close up and are tracked on the Quality Assurance "rolling completion log".
  • There was a fabrication / installation error at an elevator opening that is being resolved. The seepage at the north elevator pit was originally thought to be from surface water. The team expected it to diminish once the building was erected and surface water was no longer entering the site. The seepage now appears to be from a ground water intrusion. It is under review and a solution will be provided that includes warranty protection.
  • Measures are taken with the steel design and concrete placement to achieve a specified level of concrete floor flatness. Any areas that are outside of the specified tolerance will be remediated and tracked for correction as required. This is not unusual for projects of this nature.
  • There was a Near Miss incident with the steel erection. The fall protection equipment did its job and there were no injuries. There was not damage to the steel or building from the incident. The cause was related to an unusual column/beam connection and, while additional measures could have been taken to prevent it, it was not related to trying to rush the work. This incident was reported and discussed int he weekly OAC Coordination meeting.

Please feel free to contact me should you have additional questions or need more detailed information.

Randy Romenesko
Ketchikan, Alaska

Editor's Note:

This memo of response to the Letter to the Editor was included in the City Council's Packet for their upcoming meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 16th. Mr. Romenesko and representatives of Layton/Dawson Constructors will be attending the City Council meeting in order to address any questions and/or concerns that Councilmembers may have.


Received April 10, 2015 - Published April 10, 2015

Related Viewpoint:

letter Ketchikan Medical Center Addition By Jon Young


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor


Representations of fact and opinions in letters are solely those of the author.
The opinions of the author do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.

E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

Published letters become the property of SitNews.

SitNews ©2014
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.